UPDATE: AMBER Alert canceled after missing Charlottesville child safely located, State Police say

Virginia News

UPDATE 6:43 a.m.: Virginia State Police canceled the AMBER Alert for five-year-old Bricen Mwanawabene Tuesday morning, saying the missing Charlottesville boy has been found after he was reportedly abducted Sunday night.

In addition, police say Kerlie Johnson Gage — the woman who authorities believe abducted the boy — is in custody.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia State Police and the Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse have issued an AMBER Alert on behalf the Charlottesville Police Department for an abducted boy believed to be in extreme danger.

(Photo: Courtesy Virginia State Police)

Police say the abduction occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17.

The child was reportedly last seen at 1528 Cherry Avenue in Charlottesville.

According to police, the child is Bricen Kent Mwanawabene, a five-year-old boy who is three feet tall, weighs about 45 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.

The boy was last seen wearing a grey long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, a blue puff coat, a blue stocking cap, and black and green light-up shoes.

Police say the child is believed to have been taken by 43-year-old Kerlie Johnson Gage, a woman who has black hair and brown eyes, stands 5’4″ tall, and weighs 250 pounds.

A description of Gage’s clothing is unavailable.

According to authorities, they may be driving in a 1997 red Honda CRV with Virginia tags UMM-2229.


If you believe you see the child, you are asked to call 911 or the Charlottesville Police Department at (434) 977-4000.

Note: This article previously said the abduction occurred on Monday night instead of Sunday night. It has since been corrected.

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